Hendrik Groen may be old, but he is far from dead and isn't planning to be buried any time soon. Granted, his daily strolls are getting shorter and he has to visit his doctor more than he'd like. But surely there is more to life at his age than weak tea and potted geraniums?
Hendrik Groen stated his diary on the literary website of Torpedo magazine. He says about his novel- 'There's not one sentence that's a lie, but not every word is true.' The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 83 1/4 Years Old has been translated into over twenty languages.
'A great deal of heart' Graeme Simsion 'Praised for its wit' BBC Radio 4 Front Row 'When I'm an old man, I want to be Hendrik Groen' John Boyne 'I laughed until I cried' David Suchet 'Thoughtful, anxious and gruff... Laced with humour' Mail on Sunday 'Amusing [and] wickedly accurate' Sunday Express * - *
A story with a great deal of heart, it pulled me in with its self-deprecating humour, finely drawn characters and important themes. Anyone who hopes to grow old with dignity will have much to reflect on -- Graeme Simsion, author of international phenomenon * The Rosie Project *
Thoughtful, anxious and gruff... Laced with humour -- The Best New Fiction * Mail on Sunday *
Full of off-beat charm and quirky characters -- Cathy Rentzenbrink * Stylist *
A joy to read, as much concerned with friendship and dignity as it is with the debilitating effects of aging ... An entertaining and uplifting story of a man in the winter of his days, stoic in the face of bureaucratic nonsense and an unabashed need to wear a nappy. Imagined or not, this is the diary of someone who wants nothing more than to be allowed see out his days with dignity and respect. It's not too much to ask, really, is it? -- John Boyne * Irish Independent *
Amusing [and] wickedly accurate ... I was constantly put in mind of One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, another comi-tragedy concerning the tyranny of institutions of the unwanted. Enjoy Groen's light touch but do not be fooled by it. We live in an ageing society. The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen is a handbook of resistance for our time. ***** FIVE STARS * Daily Express *
Hendrik Groen is king -- Ray Kluun
Highly entertaining ... a delightful and touching saga of one man's way of coping with old age ... we may assume that Hendrik Groen is a character of fiction. But it is a fiction so closely based on the observation of real life that it is utterly convincing * Daily Express *
Hendrik pens an expose of his care home, sets up the Old-But-Not-Dead club and relishes the arrival of a new female resident. This geriatric Adrian Mole made me laugh and think. Terrific -- Fanny Blake * Woman and Home *